Slimming Down Your Plump Pooch

By Jed Yorkshire

I don’t know how you feel carrying an extra 10 pounds around, but I usually feel bloated, sluggish and downright grumpy. So just imagine how Fido feels when he’s packing extra pounds!

As it turns out, my dog and I bulked up together – so when it was time to slim back down to my skinny jeans and start feeling better about, well, everything, I started looking for ways to get my fat – not fluffy – pooch back down to a healthy size. And cruising around online is where I found my answers! (Aren’t the answers to all of life’s questions on the Web, anyway?!?)

Being a good dog owner, I took my furry friend to the vet before adjusting his diet or exercise routine – just in case he wasn’t packing on sympathy weight and was really facing some health problems. As I suspected, he received a clean bill of health – and I got some tips from my vet on how to transform my pup’s body.

According to my vet, I should:

• Reduce his caloric intake by 25% over a long period of time.
• Front-load his caloric intake by giving him more food in the morning than at night.
• Watch his weight loss – if he’s losing more than 5% to 8% of his starting weight a month, take him back to the vet immediately!

Cruising online for other ways to help my plump pooch shed some pounds, I also stumbled across an article on PETCO’s site that had some great ideas, including:

• Pumping up play time with longer walks and varied activities to keep you both interested.
• Very slowly introducing your dog to reduced-calorie or higher-fiber foods
• Eliminating snacks and table scraps from his diet – even if they’re seemingly healthy

Following these tips, my pooch and I have shed our excess pounds and are running, jumping and playing more than ever. Of course, we still like the occasional treats to reward ourselves for good behavior, but now we both get healthier treats – like frozen yogurt (for me) and all-natural jerky for her.

We’re actually looking so good that we’ve even got a double date at the dog park this afternoon!

Jed Yorkshire is a retired teacher and pet enthusiast who writes about canine health topics, specialty breeds, animal training and grooming. An avid pet lover and breeder, he owns four beautiful Giant Schnauzers. Yorkshire also works as a private pet behavior consultant.

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